Dental implants remain one of the most popular cosmetic dentistry services for replacing missing teeth. There are several different types of dental implants that are separated according to different criteria. One criterion is the number of stages, or the amount of treatment time involved with a particular implant.
Cosmetic dentistry offices typically offer two different types of dental implants according to treatment time. Here are the pros and cons of each type, which can help you determine what option might best suit your needs.
Traditional dental implants involve two different stages: the implant root placement with healing time and then the application of the artificial tooth crown. The implant root placement part takes the longest due to its follow-up healing time.
For the implant root, your dentist will drill a hole into the jawbone and then insert a screw-shaped metal root. Your gum tissue is then stitched into place to fully cover the bone and root and allow for healing. After the jawbone has healed, the gums are cut back open so that a post can be added to the root to make the implant taller than the gums and to facilitate the attachment of the crown.
The jawbone will heal around the root and its grooved surface, which will hold the root firmly in place. This process is called osseointegration and can take some months to complete.
The process can become even longer if you need a preceding bone graft to build up the jawbone health in the implant area. A bone graft using bone from your mouth, or a synthetic or donor source, requires another healing time so those segments of bone can heal together before the root is placed.
One-stage implants are a marvel of same day dentistry that still utilize the jawbone-supported metal root but the artificial tooth crown is placed the same day instead of after osseointegration completes. The dentist will drill and insert the root in the same way but will use a slightly taller root so that the gum tissue can be stitched closed around the base of the root rather than over its top. An artificial tooth crown then snaps onto that protruding root.
The obvious advantage is that you won't need to walk around with an empty tooth site while you wait for the bone to fuse around the root. But the dental implant won't be as strong or secure until that bone fusion happens. And if the fusion fails to happen, you could end up losing the artificial tooth and need to start the whole process over.
To learn more, contact a same day dentist like Ashton Randall P DDS.